Document Type


Date of Original Version





Lophelia pertusa plays an important role as a major contributor to many cold-water coral reefs, supporting a high diversity of associated benthic and benthopelagic species. Due to the high sensitivity of L. pertusa to human activity, it has been classified as indicator species for Vulnerable Marine Ecosystems. However, the global spatial distribution of L. pertusa is far from well known. In this study, a database of L. pertusa presence data was compiled derived from the large number of L. pertusa occurrence records appearing in recent years. In conjunction with data layers covering a range of environmental drivers, habitat suitability for L. pertusa was predicted using the Random Forest approach. Suitable habitat for L. pertusa was predicted to occur primarily on continental margins, with the most suitable habitat likely to occur in the North East Atlantic and South Eastern United States of America. Aragonite saturation state, temperature and salinity were identified as the most important contributors to the habitat suitability model. Given the high vulnerability of reef-forming cold-water corals to anthropogenic impacts, habitat suitability models are critical in developing worldwide conservation and management strategies for biodiverse and biomass rich cold-water coral ecosystems.

Publication Title, e.g., Journal

IOP Conference Series: Earth and Environmental Science



Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.